Have you noticed it this week? The perceptible change in the temperature and air. The crisper mornings. The occasional mists. Whether or not September will be the hottest on record, there has been a definitive change to the autumnal this week. Driving back from Birmingham yesterday, there was low lying mist on the fields around the motorway and the sun, although bright, was not as warm as it had been.
I love the changing of the seasons. Each change feels like a marker in the year but none more so than the autumn. It is the signal that the summer is over, time to get back to work, to make plans. This time, more than any other in the year, is the time that I turn inward.
Perhaps it's because I am consistently and infuriatingly late to everything I do, or because I am forever procrastinating until a deadline looms in to sight, but autumn is my time of consideration; what goals can I achieve, get back on track, what items can I scratch off my to-do list, before another year runs out.
This inner contemplation has collided with the end of Searching for Serenity's first 7 day challenge; Your Best Week. This was a definite 'back to school' moment for the more than 100 women who took the challenge to boost their energy, climb out from under their to-do pile and bounce in to the weekend with energy and enthusiasm.
As I write this, I am sat in a cafe near my home; goal planner, mobile and laptop all around me. And I am drawn to one tool more than any other, one that the ladies from the 7 day challenge now know well.
The wheel of life is a well known and well used coaching tool. It's beauty lies in its simplicity and adaptability. It is a tool to assess your current situation and to measure growth and development. It is also a fantastic starting point to consider your goals, dreams and plans.
The wheel works by considering 8 'spokes' or areas of your life. You can use a pre-prepared wheel of life or choose your own areas for consideration. I have prepared my own wheel of life for you to download here, or a blank version to label yourself can be downloaded here.
Each spoke is then scored on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the absolute worst and 5 being the absolute best you can imagine.
Connecting the dots will likely reveal spikes rather than a smooth circle and will show some areas of your life are in far better places of flow than others.
But the next step is the true beauty of the wheel of life.
For each spoke, take a few moments to consider what a 5/5 would look like. This is a perfect situation with no compromise or restriction. Jot down a few lines by each spoke once you have considered your 5/5.
Once each spoke is complete, take a look. Those notes are your goals, and the scoring your progress. How far do you have to go on each area? What is your next step to take toward your goal?
Periodically return to the wheel of life and complete the exercise again. As you strengthen some areas others may naturally weaken, or you may find that the strengths pull each area up with them. Over time your perception of a 5 out of 5 may change as you come closure to the achievement of that goal.
Measuring your progress and keeping records of your achievements and dreams is one of the easiest methods to achieving satisfaction and clarity.
How did you get on with your wheel of life? Have a question? Why not join the facebook group; it;s filled with professional, heartfelt women who are seeking to banish burnout and build their resilience to create careers and lives they love.